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There is no doubt that ensuring a safe return to the workplace and implementing protective measures would have taken thorough planning and evaluation. Although we may be letting out a collective sigh of relief, spare a thought for those employers who are responsible for a building’s upkeep.

Autumn

As we move into autumn, the prospect of dark nights and an imminent change in weather brings its own set of challenges. If this falls under your remit, here is just a few pointers you might want to consider:

Lighting

As the darker nights creep in, visibility becomes all the more important. Make sure that all exterior lights are in good working order, lamps are replaced as necessary and all lenses and diffusers are cleaned. Emergency lights are vital so also make sure they are in full working order. Lastly consider where LED alternatives could be introduced as a cost saving measure. 

Boilers

Autumn is an ideal time to have the boiler serviced and to check the heat distribution around the building is as effective as it can be.


Trees

Are there any trees overhanging roof tops or buildings? Branches can break easily during high winds or heavy snow, causing damage to anyone or anything in their path. To avoid damage, trim trees back early.


Car Parks/Walkways

Driving into a pothole in the dark can cause untold damage to vehicles. Repair any cracked or uneven pavements to keep pedestrians safe. Ensure all groundworks are up to par to avoid any accidents.


HVAC Systems

Dirty filters can be one of the reasons that ventilation and air conditioning systems fail. Regular, preventative maintenance will help to prolong the life of your HVAC system and ensure that it operates at peak performance. A pre-season service will also help to not just avoid system failure in cold weather it will also go some way to keeping your energy costs as low as possible.

Winter

Brings another set of challenges. With the onset of the harsh weather, you need to be mindful of:

Pipework

Pipes freeze during cold weather and as they expand, they can burst. Make sure that all interior and exterior pipes are insulated and protected from the cold to avoid any disasters.

 

Electrical Systems

It's important that the electrical system is constantly maintained and tested. Fixed Wire Testing is designed to make sure that all electric wiring is safe to use and compliant with regulations. It is recommended that this is undertaken every 5 years.

 

Be Ahead of the Weather

Heavy rain, high winds and snow can all affect a building and how efficiently it operates. In winter it is not uncommon for ice to build up in gutters that do not drain properly. Regularly clearing debris from gutters and downpipes, especially after harsh periods of weather will help to ensure that the building is as watertight as possible. Ensuring that any melting snow or heavy rainfall from the roof can drain away properly.

 

PPM or Planned, Preventative Maintenance is certainly cheaper than Reactive Maintenance. As part of your scheduled maintenance, make sure that you are regularly checking, repairing (where necessary) all:

  • Broken roof tiles or slates
  • Cracked / damaged flashing
  • Gutters
  • Downpipes
  • Fixings for gutters and downpipes
  • Drains